Nobel in focus 2020

The Nobel Prize, one of the most prestigious honours in the world, recognizes contributions which have “conferred the greatest benefit on mankind”. Here’s a simplified sneak-peak into the Nobel Prizes 2020.

#WIISER Spotlight | Dr. Anindita Bhadra: Of flawed humans and cultured dogs

They say, ‘Dogs are a man’s best friend.’ Dr. Bhadra is here to tell us that we, as humans, could learn a thing or two from our friends. Dr. Anindita Bhadra is an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean of International Relations and Outreach, at IISER Kolkata. She was the founding chairperson of the Indian National Young Academy of Science (INYAS) and is presently co-chair of the Global Young Academy (GYA). Alongside her research, she is well-known in academia for excelling in multiple roles as a teacher, scientist, mentor, leader, outreach enthusiast and a thespian among other roles. #WIISER is also a brainchild of Dr. Bhadra.

COVID Vaccine: The Promised Strand

Human emotion has a history of notoriety with regards to clouding our judgement and abilities to make reliable predictions. This clouding is inevitable when concerning something as significant as a vaccination for a pandemic. Our task in this article is a twofold one: To identify precisely which of these elements are undesirables, and to then clear the air around the mirage that is the COVID-19 vaccine of them.

The jewels of Simlipal

The wonders and colours of nature are a sight to behold as we present to you our first photo-story about the Simplipal National Park.

Prof. Somnath Dasgupta: Four decades of studying the earth

In a career spanning over more than 40 years and still going strong, Prof Somnath Dasgupta takes us on an unforgettable journey about how he stepped into the field of Earth Sciences and eventually into academia. He shares anecdotes from his many adventures around the world and also shares his experiences as one of the first faculty members at IISER Kolkata.

Menstruation: The cost of being fertile

The article explores ‘menstruation (aka: periods)’ from scientific and cultural perspectives. Menstruation is still considered a taboo subject to discuss. The authors shine light on the origins of misogyny due to lack of understanding of the female reproductive behaviour and also how the gain in the scientific knowledge has led to the emancipation of women.

A Man of Numbers

This is a biographical article on Dattatreya Ramachandra Kaprekar and his works. Although not widely known, the kind of work he did was not only significant but also fascinating and elementary to understand.

করোনা ও দুর্গাপুজো

প্রতিবছর শারদোৎসবের সূচনাকাল আপামর বাঙালির জীবনে নিয়ে আসে উৎসবের আমেজ। কিন্তু এইবছরে করোনা ভাইরাসের প্রকোপ আমাদের কপালে ফেলেছে দুশ্চিন্তার ভাঁজ।প্রত্যেকেই বিগত সাতমাস ঘর-বন্দিদশায় কাটিয়ে অবশেষে চেয়ে আছে আগামী সপ্তাহে নিয়ম বদ্ধ জীবন থেকে সামান্য মুক্তির দিকে। তবে এর মাঝে ভাইরাস কিন্তু বিশ্রাম নিচ্ছে না। এই নতুন জীবনশৈলীর সাথে নিজেদের খাপ খাওয়ানো তুলনামুলকভাবে মুশকিল হলেও অসম্ভব নয়। কি কি পদ্ধতি অবলম্বনে আনন্দ উৎসবের মাঝেও অতিরিক্ত সংক্রমন রোধ করা সম্ভব তা এই পাঠ্যে সংকলিত করা হল।

অথঃ সারমেয় কথা

প্রায় ১১০০০ বছর আগে, আমাদের বর্তমান ঘনিষ্ঠ সঙ্গী কুকুরের আবির্ভাব হয়েছিল, সম্ভবত ধুসর নেকড়ের থেকে। সেই থেকে এখনও, প্রধানত খাদ্য সংগ্রহের উদ্দেশ্যেই আমাদের ধারেকাছে এদের আনাগোনা। তবে মানুষের উপর নির্ভরশীল হলেও এই দুই ভিন্ন প্রজাতির মধ্যে আবার আছে প্রচুর মিল। আমাদের যেমন আছে ঘরবাড়ি, তেমনি তাদের আছে নিজস্ব এলাকা। আমাদের মতো তাদেরও আছে সংসার এবং সেই সংসার ধর্ম পালনের দায়িত্ব। আর তার সাথে আছে প্রতিবেশীদের সাথে নিত্য দন্দ্ব। এই পাঠ্যে তুলে ধরা হল এদেরই রোজনামচার কিছু অংশ।

The Art of Teaching: A Student's Perspective

The education system followed in our country is not without flaws. The current mode of online teaching is causing further setbacks to it, by replacing teachers in classrooms with virtual screens at home. In this article, we try to see how, in the face of all these adversities, a teacher may yet retain his significance in the life of the student.

Book Review — Nanoscale: The biggest “small secrets”

How do labs in our country perform cutting edge research despite financial constraints? Do science and ayurveda go hand in hand? Does scientific innovation crumble under market pressure? Dr. Pankaj Seksharia's ‘Nanoscale’ answers these burning questions and gives us a thorough insight into four of India's leading laboratories.

#WIISER Spotlight | Dr Poonam Thakur: Moving forward, with wisdom from the past

Dr Poonam Thakur, Assistant Professor at IISER Thiruvananthapuram, was fascinated by the intricacies of the Parkinson's Disease during her doctoral research and has decided to delve further into it with her research group now. She spoke to Cogito137 in an email interview, where she talks about the prevailing gender bias in academia and her plans of maintaining an ethical work culture in her lab.

What do scientists really know?

Do the concept of science, and the perception of science disagree? Is science a field that deals with the complete and absolute knowledge of Nature, or should we take scientific ‘breakthroughs’ with a pinch of salt, knowing that it is only valid till it's not? This opinion piece looks at how science in popular culture is at odds with science in reality.

How ‘cool’ is Absolute Zero?

Absolute zero is the lowest temperature theoretically possible which is also practically impossible to achieve. It is the temperature which the Universe is tending to in its theoreised eventual heat death. A number of interesting phenomena occur near this temperature which have intrigued scientists for a century, and it also holds the key to future engineering.

Hilbert’s Quarantine Centre: To infinity and beyond!

This article revisits a classic thought experiment in Mathematics. It explores some of the intricacies of countable infinity and how its definition can be used to achieve seemingly impossible results, and contemplates how useful these results may be in the current pandemic.

Quantum Entanglement: Our ignorance or the Universe's ghost?

A simplistic overview of one of the most startling quantum mechanical phenomena known to exist, one which greatly disconcerted Albert Einstein himself; and a discussion on its consequences regarding our knowledge about the world.

Love paves the path for a strong dog-human bond

A recent study from the Dog Lab, IISER Kolkata challenges the notion that dogs associate themselves with humans solely for seeking food. It shows that affectionate behaviour paves the way for dog-human bonding.

#WIISER Spotlight | Dr. Nisha N. Kannan: Synchronizing work, life and science with time

Dr. Nisha K. Kannan, Assistant Professor, studies 'Chronobiology' in fruit flies, at IISER Thiruvananthapuram. She spoke to Cogito137 over an email interview, where she talks about her tryst with science from an early age to a career in research and how life and society influenced it.

Pandemics as paradigm shifts

Looking back at the European Black Plague as an archetype of a pandemic, which ravaged human lives in the 14th century, and drawing parallels to the coronavirus pandemic of the 21st century.

#WIISER Spotlight | Dr. R. S. Swathi : Where there is a will, there is a way

Dr. R. S. Swathi, Associate Professor, is a theoretical chemist at IISER Thiruvananthapuram. She spoke to Cogito137 over an email interview, where she talks of overcoming different hurdles for securing a higher education in basic sciences and a career in scientific research.

#WIISER Spotlight | Dr. Depshikha Jaiswal Nagar: Solving new challenges on her way, through a noxious work environment

Dr. Deepshikha Jaiswal Nagar, Assistant Professor, the only woman faculty in the Department of Physics at IISER Thiruvananthapuram, is a condensed matter physicist. She spoke to Cogito137 over an email interview, where she talks of the gender imbalance in her department, trust issues in academia and importance of bracing new problems and challenges in science.

#WIISER Spotlight | Prof. Sumana Annagiri : With curiosity driven science, towards blue-sky research

Dr. Sumana Annagiri joined IISER Kolkata as an Assistant Professor in October 2008. Her lab studies nest-relocation dynamics in an Indian ant species, trying to understand the strategies and priorities involved in the process.

A Girl in the Tunnel

The advent of digital tools has revolutionized art by increasing possibilities for the ones with creative minds. Read on to find out about a harmonious marriage between mathematics and art.

New method of cyanide detection in edibles: devised by The Light Lab, IISER Kolkata

Researchers from IISER Kolkata have produced a simple and cost-effective method of cyanide detection in food and water. This can potentially bring major transformations in the food industry, especially involving seafood.

The COVID-19 lockdown: Our self-induced psychological experiment?

One-third of the world population is currently living in isolation, under enforced lockdowns.The evolutionarily "social" brain of humans can be massively affected through this. Here's why this COVID-19 lockdown may be the biggest psychological experiment that mankind has induced upon itself, and how this will affect us.

#WIISER Spotlight | Prof. Jayasri Das Sarma : On training scientific minds and not just hands

Prof. Jayasri Das Sarma, who works on certain coronaviruses which infect mice models, speaks to Cogito in an electronic interview.

PhD balance - a students' initiative for better mental health in academia

Susanna L Harris in an email conversation with Subhayu Bagchi, talks about being a graduate student herself and leading a successful students' initiative, aiming to provide much needed mental health support to graduate students.

EGFR Signaling: its multiple roles in the symphonic orchestra of insect development

Living things are machines of a sort, run by complex biochemical and molecular pathways. Read on to know about the functioning of one such pathway that plays a pivotal role in the development of fruit flies.

No Cheers for Corona!

The COVID-19 outbreak has befallen the human race and has literally put the entire world on a lock-down. While economies are suffering greatly and the pandemic has contributed to an ‘infodemic’, people are still curious about what is all this buzz about. Read on to understand what coronavirus is, why social-distancing is important and why this should be our wake-up call to stop mis-treating the earth any further.

Open Day at IISER Kolkata

News report on the Open Day at IISER Kolkata where IISER Kolkata opens it's gates to communicate science to the public.

A Scientist's Perspective

Prof. Narayan Banerjee in conversation with Suvadeep Roy, talks about the societal role of science and scientists, simplistic understanding of gravitation and dark matter, the importance of enjoying science and more.

Walking in Königsberg

A story about how Euler gave birth to the graph theory in an attempt to figure out an innovative route, in which a pedestrian would cross each of the seven bridges in the city of Königsberg,only once

Collaborative Science as a Path to the Future

Gone are the days when science used to be a lonesome affair. With increased globalization and emerging interdisciplinary fields, collaborative research is bringing the scientific community closer and also giving rise to mega-projects.

Aerosols - The Main Culprit for Rising Air Pollution over Kolkata

Most Indian metropolitans are infamous for making it to the list of top polluted cities in the world. Scientists at IISER Kolkata have pin-pointed the reason to be aerosols, majorly comprising of Sulphur particles.

The Show Must Go On

Rise of political turmoil across the globe has dampened climate change action-plans, which looked promising till the last year. While humans are busy fighting other humans, the arch-enemy of our kind is gaining strength.

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